I retired from a satisfying 29+ year career as a teacher and school counselor in a large diverse high school. During this time, I enjoyed supporting students, teachers and administrators. I was in my element when I was: listening, consulting, facilitating, leading, problem solving and teaching.
Upon retiring from my deep sense of meaning and purpose, I had to give myself some time to grieve, redefine, and recreate my new chapter in life. I turned to Emotional Fitness Life for support, belonging and as a way to fulfill my desire for personal development and growth.
Emotional Fitness Life is not only about using and applying powerful tools, it is also lifestyle.
Due to my enhanced self-awareness from being listened to, I discover I am unable to be blind to what my feelings are telling me. Strangely, sometimes I think it's easier to live the opposite way. However, the rewards of self-acceptance and compassion beat out living in the dark.
I look forward to working with Michelle as she promotes and models the benefits of learning the tools of Emotional Fitness Life.
Going back to my former work life. I feel honored to have worked with great leaders who, in their parting reference letters written for me as I entered my next phase of life, described my work self as being:
"Mary is thoroughly professional and a personable educator who provides a trusted perspective on the unique issues and challenges that face all of us within the mental health and wellness field." Chris Shaw, Principal
"Mrs. Stewart demonstrated that her team matters as do their voices. She practiced servant leadership and modeled her expectations so that her team knew she wouldn't ask anything of them that she wasn't willingly doing herself." Cheryl Otto, Principal
"Mary was a champion for her students. She was always a thoughtful listener and a creative problem solver. Mary would take her time with situations, getting to know the individual she was working with and would advocate strongly on their behalf." Kathy Mann, Director of Instructional Services
When I read these comments in my letters, my inner voice often questions and asks: Is this really me? It is my work with Emotional Fitness Life that is helping me to deal with my imposter syndrome. My involvement with the community behind Emotional Fitness Life, is supporting me in silencing the inner negative chatter. It's a process, but it's a fun process too. There is much strength to be found in being free to be authentic and vulnerable.
Emotional Fitness Practitioner, Currently in Training and Recertifying